Yes. The principal certification track requires a valid teaching license and three years of teaching experience.
The secondary certification track requires that the applicant pass the state certification content-specific PRAXIS II test (in addition to other requirements—see FAQ #6) before that applicant can student teach.
Students in the secondary certification track are required to complete a one-hour student teaching seminar, coupled with a 14-week, five-credit-hour student teaching professional semester. The student teacher will work under a supervising certified teacher and have a DWU education faculty member who will be directing and mentoring them during their student teaching experience.
There are costs associated with the PRAXIS tests, Vericheck, liability insurance, fingerprinting, criminal background checks and the TB test. While costs vary, a reasonable estimate of these costs is $350 to $450 in the aggregate, less the cost of any requirements already completed.
While the DWU education programs have been designed with the South Dakota requirements in mind and have received affirmation from the South Dakota Department of Education, we have a number of students who use their DWU degrees to teach in other states. The specific requirements of each state varies, but states typically accept, on a reciprocal basis, much of the work of another state’s accredited colleges’ education course preparation. For example, students pursuing teacher certification in South Dakota are specifically required to have courses in American Indian history/culture and advanced human relations. Students desiring to attain certification in other states should carefully evaluate their state’s standards to ensure that they understand the specific requirements of that state.
Our programs are set up around online delivery, using six, eight-week terms in any given academic year. On average, most students in these programs—and SD superintendents—have expressed a preference for a 24-month program. However, we have occasionally had a student that has completed the degree in 12 to 15 months, including full time in the summer(s), if they were not otherwise employed.